Join the parade, on March 16!

Surf Rodeo float riders waving to the crowd. Photo by Brendan Daly/WhizCom Marketing

If you’d like to roll down Main Street in the 2024 County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the time to sign up is now. Entry deadline is Thursday, March 7.

Presented annually by Ventura Elks Lodge No. 1430, the parade will commence this year at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16, along a three-quarter-mile route in the heart of Ventura. To enter, visit Entry fee is $50.

This year’s parade theme, “Shamrocks & Shenanigans,” gives entrants an invitation to embrace their inner leprechauns with whimsy and mischief in their creations.

One of the county’s most popular community events, the St. Patrick’s Day parade draws thousands each year to a route lined with happy families all dressed up in green. The 2024 parade will run the same midtown route it debuted in 2022, downhill along Main, from Lincoln Drive to Fir Street.

Parade entries are coming in strong this year and again include a solid musical contingent. Always a great entertainment, the parade last year drew more bands and other musicians than any previous year in the history of the decades-old event.

Parade entrants compete for awards presented by a panel of judges led by St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee member James Lockwood. Joining Lockwood on the panel will be Clint Garman from the office of Ventura County Supervisor Matt LaVere; Richard Rush, former president of California State University Channel Islands; Celina Zacarias, CSUCI’s director of community and government relations; and Elks Lodge representative Rhonda Catron.

Primary parade sponsors include California State University Channel Islands, Citizens Business Bank, E.J. Harrison & Sons, Rolls Scaffold, Runnin’ to Bunnin Chevrolet, and Union Bank. Major sponsors donating their time and services include CAPS Media, the Gaston Group, Ventura Rental Center, and WhizCom Marketing. Among the scores of others who contributed are a dozen media sponsors.

The parade grand marshal this year is the wonderful Elena Brokaw! Executive director of the Museum of Ventura County, Elena is a perennial Ventura County civic leader who before heading up the museum worked with the city of Ventura for 13 years, including as its community services director. In 2019, she was named Citizen of the Year, earning the top honor bestowed by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce in its annual prestigious Poinsettia Awards.

Elena grew up in Ventura County, the youngest of five. She lived in East Ventura till her family moved to an avocado ranch in Santa Paula when she was 8. Elena naturally gravitated toward arts and culture, spending her youth writing, singing and acting and going on to earn a degree in fine arts from Harvard. After short, post-college stints in Boulder, Colorado, and Los Angeles, Elena returned home to Ventura County for good.

She lives in Santa Paula with her husband, former Ventura Police Chief Pat Miller, and her son, Charlie – who turns 13 the day after St. Patrick’s Day!

The County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade is co-chaired by an esteemed group of former Ventura mayors and councilmembers – former grand marshals Jim Monahan and Nan Drake; and longtime event coordinator Brian Brennan – working in cooperation with a hardworking committee including members from Ventura Elks Lodge No. 1430, which has presented the parade since its beginnings in the 1980s.

For answers to parade entry questions, call Brennan at 805-746-5955 or committee member Aaron Gaston at 805-340-8217. For other parade info, call Monahan at 805-340-1356.

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